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Our Martin Luther
King Jr.

Our Martin Luther
King Jr.


People who struggle for LGBT equality always want to know what civil rights leader will be the Martin Luther King Jr. for our cause. But the question contains its own answer.

Satre is a junior at Notre Dame Academy, a private Catholic high school in Middleburg, Va., and the founder of the Virginia LGBT activist group Equality Fauquier-Culpeper. He writes regular journal entries for The Advocate.

Over the past year, during which my career as a gay rights activist has taken root, I have been asked one question dozens of times. This is a question nearly every gay rights activist in this country (and in other parts of the world) has been asked at least once:

"Who will be the Martin Luther King Jr. for gay people?"

The question's answer is inside the question itself. There is no one human soul who could better speak for and represent the LGBT community and effectively advocate for equal rights in America than Martin Luther King Jr.

This man is not just a hero for civil rights for the black community; he is a hero for the civil rights of every person in America. He became one of America's most beloved leaders. He peacefully and effectively created social and political change beyond his lifetime. He has led black citizens toward equality alongside some of the finest and first civil rights leaders, and he continues to lead LGBT people the same way he did black people in the late 1950s and '60s.

This man raised a legion through grassroots advocacy throughout the country, working in conjunction with civil rights activists and organizations around the nation and forcing America to pay attention. He inspired generations of activists and political leaders to in turn inspire others, including myself, to live equal and stand equal. Even today this man is very much alive.

There is no question as to who is the Martin Luther King Jr. for the gay rights movement: There is absolutely no doubt when it comes to answering that question with the famous name already cited. We do not need to search or wait for the ingenious individual who will prompt the gay community to gather under one banner to champion equality.

His name we already know. He already has a statue in the nation's capital. He has already met with numerous politicians, including a past president. He has already delivered memorable speeches. He has set an intricate and steadfast course for social change in the country. He has touched the lives of millions and charted an unavoidable course in history.

"Who will be the Martin Luther King Jr. for gay people?" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is already that illustrious exemplar for the LGBT family.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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